The three most important things in entrepreneurship are: sell, sell, sell. Good salespeople are always closing deals. They never forget to bring the contracts with them, never forget to ask for the deal and never forget to get their client's signature. They also understand that the true purpose of marketing is not really to sell anything but to build a brand
and the true purpose of a brand is to build trust and the true purpose of building trust is to give the salesperson a greater opportunity to close the deal. After all, people like to buy from people they like and trust.
Here is an exchange between actor Nicky Katt in character as Greg Weinstein in the 2000 film, Boiler Room, with Giovanni Ribisi playing Seth Davis:
Greg: Now, now, listen to me. Even though you're not actually selling stock yet, I want you to remember the code we have here, okay? Did you see Glengarry Glen Ross?
Greg: Okay, do you remember 'ABC'?
Seth: Yeah. 'Always be closing.'
Greg: That's right. 'Always be closing.' 'Telling's not selling.' That's the attitude you wanna have, okay.
Also known as self-capitalization, this is how most start-ups actually capitalize themselves. Sources of bootstrap capital include: soft capital (Mom/Dad/Rich Uncle Buck), home equity loans, supplier credit, consulting, credit cards, retainers, deposits, progress payments, receivables factoring, partners, sponsorships, guarantors, pre-sales, launch clients and more. Bootstrap capital allows the ownership to keep control of their own enterprises and not lose them to VCs and other debt or equity holders.
“Two former students decide to start a home building business. They have no capital so they: 1. find a friendly landowner who allows them to set up shop in a field and pre-sell homes with no money up front to the landowner (who gets paid when the homes sell); 2. they pre-sell 10 homes and take deposits of $20,000 per home so now they have $200,000 in their bank account; 3. they get 90 and 120 day terms from their suppliers so that the suppliers also get paid when the homes sell; 4. they take their 10 Agreements of Purchase and Sale and pledge those to the Bank for a LOC (effectively borrowing their clients' credit scores). After two years, they have $800,000 in the Bank and own 100% of the business. This example demonstrates five sources of bootstrap capital: supplier credit, pre-sales, launch clients, deposits and guarantors.”
There is truth and smart truth. In a media-saturated world where each word is parsed by many looking for scandal, it is more important than ever to tell the smart truth. Lawyers, especially criminal law lawyers, understand the difference.
“Coca-cola proudly announced some years ago that it was introducing vending machines that would raise the price of their sodas when the weather got hot. The announcement was widely panned in the media—just when a consumer needed a break most, the company would be raising its price. The smarter play and the smart truth would have been an announcement that the company was introducing vending machines that lowered the price of their drinks when the weather got cold. It is the same thing yet it isn’t—the smart truth would have had radically different (and much more positive) PR repercussions. The end result—the vending machines never left Coke labs…”
When brands agree to cross-promote each other. In effect, each brand becomes a separate sales channel
for all the others in the group.
When a driver of a high end sedan gets out of the car wearing an expensive watch and a bespoke suit, now that is co-branding. Each of the three brands have agreed to promote each other in RL (Real Life), on television, in print, online, in social media
and on the mobile web.
Where consumers band together online to influence, collectively, the price of a good or service, a form of social shopping
and reverse pricing.
A website or mobile app that reduces the prices of its products or services for every like
that potential customers generate as a group is using a form of social commerce. Or when consumers get their friends
to buy a sufficient number of ecommerce coupons
, they are engaged in social commerce. In effect, consumers are banding together online
to influence the price at which they are willing to buy and companies are paying their customers to do their marketing for them.
PB4L stands for Personal Business for Life. The question is: should everyone on the planet have a PB4L? After all, it wasn't government five year plans that brought India and China out of poverty; it was the unleashing of the entrepreneur class.
Maybe we should each have one micro business that we hang onto for life; that never gets shared with anyone, where we take no partners and never pledge it to a Bank for a loan and, thus, have something that is uniquely ours that we can fall back on in troubled times. “You need an iron reserve.”
There are so many changes going on in the local, national and global economy and so many things can and do go wrong, that it might not be a bad idea after all to have a fallback position.
A PB4L does not include things like the guy who tells you: “I can show you how to make a million dollars! Just send me ONE dollar, and I will tell you how.” And, of course, the answer is: “Get a million fools to each send you a dollar to tell them how to…”
A PB4L is a real business with real cashflow. Perhaps you are selling high-end, acid free paper or you have a series of organic food recipes that you sell at food fairs and in specialty stores or you have an online dino comic strip that you publish daily that becomes a hit.
Ideas are endless. Maybe you could look in the Encyclopedia Britannica circa 1932 for inspiration and public domain ideas.
This is an acronym for 'Do It Right The First Time'. It is a new movement focused on getting people to increase their productivity by doing tasks right the first time. If we could get the proportion of tasks performed right the first time someone turns their attention to it, we would see a significant improvement in national productivity.
When your Bookkeeper forgets to make a bank deposit on the first of the month and one of your mortgages goes NSF
, you send him or her a note. All it has to say is 'DIRT-FT'.